Venture Lab

Venture Lab is an investment initiative that provides patient seed capital and support to innovative financial inclusion start-ups, fostering experimentation and promoting business models that improve financial access for people living in poverty worldwide.

Since these start-ups traditionally lack access to capital and assistance, Venture Lab provides flexible financial and non-financial support to suit the needs of each investee enterprise, as follows:

  • Investment: We will typically invest U.S. $100,000 to $500,000 in equity or quasi-equity instruments, depending on the circumstances. We welcome opportunities to co-invest with like-minded investors and bring others to the table, particularly for later-stage investment into portfolio companies.

  • Support: Venture Lab prefers to be an active investor and bring to bear the people and resources of the global Accion network to maximize the chance of success. In addition to day-to-day support from the Venture Lab team, investee companies may get connected to Accion’s in-house technical experts (technology, risk management, etc.), microfinance teams and customers from partner institutions around the world, and the global banking and investing community.

 

Featured Work

Bridging the Small Business Credit Gap Through Innovative Lending

This report by Accion Venture Lab describes the latest innovations in the field of micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) finance. In it, Venture Lab explores how innovative, tech-enabled lenders are using niche marketing, digital or mobile platforms, and enterprising partnerships – and often a combination of all three – to make financing available to underserved MSMEs. Informed by its investments and work with more than a dozen fintech start-ups in the MSME finance space, Venture Lab charts a course for investors, regulators, microfinance institutions, and entrepreneurs to seize today’s opportunity to close the gap.

Venture Lab developed this report with the support of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

Read more about the report


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